BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New details are emerging about tech mogul David Goldberg’s cause of death. He was the husband of Facebook’s executive Sheryl Sandberg.
Tracey Leong has details.
Autopsy results suggest that 47-year-old David Goldberg had a heart arrhythmia. This may have caused him to fall while working out, leading to his fatal head injury on Friday.
While vacationing with family in Mexico, David Goldberg collapsed at a gym and died after suffering severe head trauma and blood loss.
Goldberg was the chief executive operator of SurveyMonkey, an online survey company valued at $2 billion.
The husband of Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, they were one of the tech industry’s highest profile couples.
“This is a huge loss for Silicon Valley. It’s by far the biggest loss since Steve Jobs,” said Marc Benioff, family friend and tech executive.
At Goldberg’s memorial, Sandberg said: “Dave was my rock. When I got upset, he stayed calm. When I was worried, he said, ‘We’ll be OK’ …I sure could use him right about now.”
Autopsy results suggest Goldberg had a heart arrhythmia, possibly contributing to his death.
“Very unique situation where he was unaware of having any underlying arrhythmia as we’ve seen this with athletes in the past–basketball players, baseball players–and out of the blue, they die. And that’s called sudden cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Ali Tabrizchi, cardiologist, LifeBridge Health.
Dr. Tabrizchi says running on the treadmill may have triggered sudden cardiac arrest, causing Goldberg to lose consciousness and fall off the machine.
“I am assuming he was not aware of his condition or else he would have taken other precautionary steps,” he said.
Experts say Goldberg’s death was a rare and tragic accident, but say it serves as a reminder to always consult a doctor before starting any exercise program.
“You have professional athletes with heart conditions that are performing at the highest levels,” said Rich Rodriguez, personal trainer. “So it’s just based on what you can do for yourself.”
Heart arrhythmia can be caused by a number of factors, including stress, high blood pressure or diabetes.
Doctors recommend patients have a screening test at their annual physical exams to see if they are at risk.